This past Friday, we had the opportunity to honor our community partners and celebrate success at our annual Partner Appreciation Breakfast. Nearly 70 people attended the event and enjoyed good food and sweeping views of Durham at the beautiful University Club. Representatives from our Smart Start partners, Durham Early Head Start, NC Pre-K, the Durham Touchpoints Collaborative, Transition to Kindergarten Initiative, and the Partnership’s Board of Directors gathered together to celebrate their work with young children and families. It was wonderful to be with so many friends as we continued our 20th Anniversary celebrations and recognized the inspiring success of these programs.
The program began with a greeting from Cindy Watkins, President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, who acknowledged the innovative work being done in Durham. Following this greeting, the crowd heard from guest speaker Dr. Wynetta Lee, Dean of the School of Education at NC Central University. Dr. Lee spoke to the importance of early childhood education and the value of nurturing and caring for Durham’s youngest citizens.
As one way of celebrating success, we invited our partners to share a story with us. These motivating and moving presentations included everything from a testimonial from a child care center director on how her teachers are working hard to support the families of their students, to a school staff member’s perspective on how the Transition to Kindergarten Initiative is improving the experience of kindergartners, teachers, and schools across Durham.
Executive Director Laura Benson then had an opportunity recognize each of our partners individually and thank them on behalf of the Partnership and the Board of Directors. Laura also recognized Jameka Wells, NC Pre-K Program Specialist, for reaching her 10th work anniversary at the Partnership! Jameka is the longest tenured employee and is greatly appreciated and loved by many people who were in the room that morning. Closing out the event was the highly anticipated drawing for some wonderful raffle prizes, all of which were donated by generous sponsors.
Thank you for helping us celebrate 20 years of preparing Durham’s children to succeed. We are so grateful for each and every one of our Partners who work so hard for our young children and families in Durham!